Aerial Greece episode 3 – Crete & the Eastern Islands: Take flight over Crete’s ancient palaces, the jewels of the Dodecanese, and other stunning eastern islands of Greece.
There’s no better way to take in Greece’s great diversity, natural beauty, and mythic grandeur than to experience it from a god’s-eye-view. This exhilarating aerial tour whisks you away on a four-part, cross-country journey above the heart of Athens, over the timeless, contrasting Aegean archipelago, and across eastern islands of mesmerizing beauty and priceless heritage. Along with the physical splendors, we also explore the human stories of the people who embody the ingenuity, resilience, and vibrant spirit of this remarkable country.
Aerial Greece episode 3 – Crete & the Eastern Islands
Greece is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed by Thessaloniki. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km (8,498 mi) in length, featuring many islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres (9,573 ft). The country consists of nine traditional geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands (including the Dodecanese and Cyclades), Thrace, Crete, and the Ionian Islands.
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica. It bounds the southern border of the Aegean Sea. Crete rests approximately 160 km (99 mi) south of the Greek mainland. It has an area of 8,336 km2 (3,219 sq mi) and a coastline of 1,046 km (650 mi).
Crete and a number of islands and islets that surround it constitute the Region of Crete (Greek: Περιφέρεια Κρήτης), which is the southernmost of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece, and the fifth most populous of Greece’s regions. Its capital and largest city is Heraklion, located on the north shore of the island. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065. The Dodecanese are located to the northeast of Crete, while the Cyclades are situated to the north, separated by the Sea of Crete. The Peloponnese is to the region’s northwest.
Humans have inhabited the island since at least 130,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic age. Crete was the centre of Europe’s first advanced civilization, the Minoans, from 2700 to 1420 BC. The Minoan civilization was overrun by the Mycenaean civilization from mainland Greece. Crete was later ruled by Rome, then successively by the Byzantine Empire, Andalusian Arabs, the Venetian Republic, and the Ottoman Empire. In 1898 Crete, whose people had for some time wanted to join the Greek state, achieved independence from the Ottomans, formally becoming the Cretan State. Crete became part of Greece in December 1913.
Dodecanese – Aerial Greece episode 3
The Dodecanese are a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Turkey’s Anatolia, of which 26 are inhabited. This island group generally defines the eastern limit of the Sea of Crete. They belong to the wider Southern Sporades island group.
Rhodes has been the area’s dominant island since antiquity. Of the others, Kos and Patmos are historically the more important; the remaining twelve are Agathonisi, Astypalaia, Chalki, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Leipsoi, Leros, Nisyros, Symi, Tilos, and Kastellorizo. Other islands in the chain include Alimia, Arkoi, Farmakonisi, Gyali, Kinaros, Levitha, Marathos, Nimos, Pserimos, Saria, Strongyli, Syrna and Telendos.